Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Jimmy Driftwood Remembered

©Bert Gildart: Though now deceased, the man pictured here was once famous as a musician, though he began his career in a different field.  The image was in my files and was included about 25 years ago in a story I wrote about Mountain View, Arkansas.

Any idea who the man might be?

The man began his career in education, where he served as a teacher and a principal.  During that time, he wrote hundreds of songs to help his students learn about history.  He wrote a story about a battle that occurred in New Orleans.  He wrote a story about wandering the Southland on his Tennessee Stud.

Ultimately, a friend encouraged him to take his songs to Nashville, and I love the way the man told his story.  “I left over 50 songs,” said this very modest man, “with one of the top producers.  They told me to return in a few days for an evaluation.”


Several days later the man returned and as he told the story to me he bowed his head slightly, duplicating, I suspect, a moment from the past.

“Did you like any of my songs?” he asked the producer?”

The producer responded.  “We’ll take every single one of them.”

The man’s name, of course, was Jimmy Driftwood, and in his life so many of his songs were recorded by top performers of the day.  Eddie Arnold recorded Tennessee Stud, and John Horton performed his “Battle of New Orleans.”  Driftwood also released an album that included his songs “Billy Yank and Johnny Reb.”

During the next few years, Driftwood, performed at Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, and at major folk festivals. On March 31, 1962, Driftwood was elevated from a regular guest to starring member of the Grand Ole Opry. He also returned to the educational profession in 1962, teaching folklore at the University of Southern California in Idyllwild.  He was also an advisor to National Geographic on Ozark Folk Ways.

I must have met the man about 1985 and at the time I was a Contributing Editor for magazines produced by the Affinity Group, to include Trailer Life and Motorhome.  Though I offered to take Driftwood to lunch, he insisted that he and his wife pay.  He was one of the kindest people I have met, and I rank my time with him as one of my most memorable experiences.  To think a man of his talent would spend the day with me!

Driftwood died in 1998, but I suspect that in his life he made lots of  people happy.




Sandy Hook National Seashore

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy

Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

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